We got on our bikes and rode to the town garage. Being Sunday, no one was around. Wayne opened the roll-up door and led us to the back. Under a tarp was a robin’s egg blue Classic ’55 Chevy, with a drag quad carburetors sticking through the hood, headers, pipes along the sides, and flames custom painted above the pipes.
“Man, there ain’t no way no one’s gonna not notice this machine,” I whined.
“That’s no issue,” Floyd rebutted. “This here’s Willie’s pride and joy. But Willie’s outta town. Now everybody knows Wayne’s been a’workin’ here for two years. They ain’t gonna say shit.”
Wayne turned the key, and as the engine warmed up, all seven of us jumped in. The slightest touch of the gas and the souped up engine roared, especially loud inside the garage. With squealing tires, we screamed out to the street.
While Wayne went to lock the door, Scott asked, “Does he have a license?”
All of us, including me, pommelled him on the head.
“’Course not. We’re all fifteen. Just shut up.”
We drove to the speedway, pretty much under control. Once in the parking lot, Wayne had to show off. We cruised the lanes of parked cars. Anytime there were young girls, we’d slow to a crawl and gun the engine. A couple of times, we got in noise duels with other hot cars. Wayne challenged everyone to ‘drag,’ giving them the two finger ‘V’ sign to his lips. I expected to see James Dean and Natalie Woods, with Sal Mineo in the back seat.
Finally we parked. Wayne and Floyd continued to challenge other drivers. We followed them as they repeated the rounds of the lot on foot. Finally, a guy and girl in a ’69 Dodge Charger, blue with custom flames, accepted the challenge. It would take place after the stock races were done, on the main road by the raceway. We watched the gate where the cars were being let in and out. Floyd went up to the guard, talking to him while we sneaked through behind a car. Then the guard let Floyd in for free.
“Y’all gots money?” he asked me.
“Go buy us some beer.”
“They ain’t gonna sell me beer. I’m fifteen.”
“You so sure, y’all go try.”
He was right. I came back with seven beers. The next time Scott and I came back with fourteen. They were only 50 cents each. It tasted a whole lot better than that moonshine, especially on a hot afternoon. By the time my twenty bucks was spent, we were wasted. Scott was letting out his cowboy yells, like he was still riding Cheryl Ann. We had our arms around each other, wandering around with Floyd’s gang, who handled it better than us but were still feeling no pain. Wayne was oblivious to impairing his abilities for the upcoming drag race. We watched the races, leaning up against the track walls and yelling as the modified stock cars raced by. The demolition derby had plenty of crashes as the junkers went through the circle-eight course, in elimination heats. Finally, one demolished Pontiac remained, making its victory lap.
We all stumbled out the main gate to the parking lot. Wayne had a serious look on his face, as he checked out the Chevy. An older teenager came over and warned Wayne not to do it, being Willie’s car and all. Wayne told him to shove it. Then he told Floyd to ride shotgun. Scott visibly relaxed, realizing he didn’t have to ride in the race. We lined up by the raceway entrance, which was the finish line. The two cars slowly cruised down the road to a distance of one mile. Most of the raceway crowd was lined up on both sides of the road. Scott and I were arm in arm at the finish line. In the distance, the two cars’ engines roared up and down as they prepared to start. It was dead quiet for about five seconds, then both cars roared and screeched forward, tires burning rubber. It was too far away to tell who had the lead. Closer and closer they came. Finally we saw that Wayne was falling back as they reached top gear. Then we saw and heard an explosion. Flames momentarily burst from the four barrel carburetor on the Chevy’s hood. Wayne went by the Charger like it was standing still. He flew across the finish and circled back as we surrounded him. The Charger’s driver jumped out of his vehicle and charged through our group around Wayne and Floyd.
“You cheatin’ hunk of shit. Y’all ain’t’t sayin’ nothin’ ‘bout no nitro injector.”
“I didn’t say nothin’ ‘bout nothin’. What y’all think these here four shiny barrels is doing sticking through my hood?”
“I had yer ass ‘til y’all fired the nitro.”
“I jist let y’all get a little ahead so as to see the shit-eatin’ grin on yer faces when we went by yer sorry asses.”
He stomped away as we all high-fived Wayne and Floyd. We all piled into the Chevy and took a victory lap around the parking lot. They take their stock car racing seriously in North Carolina.
Wayne drove like a mad man back to the garage. We washed the Chevy carefully, so it didn’t look like it had been used. We had a water fight that went on for twenty minutes, with control of the hoses passing between fighting parties; everyone was soaked. Wayne put the Chevy in the garage and replaced the tarp. Just as we were about to close the doors, an El Camino drove up.
“Cool it,” Floyd warned. “It’s Willie.”
We shut up and stood in a soggy group by the garage door.
Willie stomped directly to Wayne.
“What’s goin’ on heah, boy?”
“Just washin’ the Chevy, boss. Guess we all got a bit carried away.”
“Don’t bullshit me, boy. I git home not five minutes and I git five calls sayin’ y’all had my car at the track taday. I trusted ya with them keys. Now give ‘em back.”
Wayne handed over the keys, looking really chagrined. He started to apologize, but Willie cut him off.
“Don’t ya give me none o’ yer lip. Y’all is off work ‘til I’s decides I wants ya back. Now y’all git outta my garage.”
We all hustled out. Floyd turned and shouted to Willie, “Wayne stomped Curly’s Charger, Willie. Ya shoulda seen it, ya da bin been proud.”
Wayne grabbed Floyd, pulling him away as Willie grabbed a tire iron and looked ready to chase us. We took off running, with Willie shaking his fist at us.
“He’ll calm down by tomorrow,” Floyd predicted.
“Don’t y’all worry ‘bout me. Willie won’t pump gas hisself fer long. That’s all he’ll let me do fer weeks, but it’s worth it.” Wayne agreed.
“We gotta go,” Scott announced.
“Y’all have a fine time taday, boys?”
“It was fine and Wayne drove a great race today. Y’all goin’ on a run this week?”
“Maybe yes, maybe no.”
“Well, count us in.”
They just stared as we rode off. We knew we still weren’t fully part of the gang, but we did now fit in. Scott rode his crazy zig-zag all over the road. It made me remember we were pretty drunk. When we got to the cabin, we rode right to the dock, threw off our clothes, and dove into the lake. I got him to race me about a quarter-mile from shore. We lay there floating and horsing around before racing back. The water sobered us up, at least we thought so.
Mrs. Watt called us up to the house while we were drying off.
“We’ve been waiting for you boys to go out to dinner.”
“Great. Can we go to the chicken place again?” Scott asked.
“Of course. Where have you been all day?”
“We went to the stock car races. You shoulda seen it, Mom, our friend raced this guy and beat him bad.”
“Badly, dear, beat him badly.”
“Sure, Ma, y’all shoulda seen it.”
I thought Mrs. Watt would have a coronary.
“Ma? When did you start speaking like a hillbilly, Scott?”
“Me? Y’all should hear Tim talk it up with them boys.”
“Okay,” she sighed. “Now get changed. We’ve been waiting on you to have dinner.”
Stu followed us upstairs. Scott told him everything about our day at the races.
“You guys always leave me out. Are you going on a ‘run’ with them this week?
“I doubt they’ll let us go. Don’t say nothing to Ma.”
“Anything, Scott. Don’t say anything,” Stu corrected his brother.
I sat watching the two. Scott and Stu were so alike but would never admit it. Now Stu was correcting Scott.
We drove to the restaurant. I was starving and ate most of Scott’s food as well as mine. He, on the other hand, was beat and almost fell asleep at the table. We all ate apple pie. Once we were back at the cabin, Mrs. Watt came in to talk with us.
“I’m glad you boys are meeting the local kids and having such a good time this year.”
“You should see the girls we met, Mom.”
“Well, good, at least you’re not still calling me Ma.”
“They’re sisters, Mom, and they talk so slow and pretty.”
“Did they go to the races, too?”
“Naw. It wasn’t for girls. Well, anyway, we can’t see them anymore.”
“The oldest one is ‘involved.’”
“Well, that’s too bad.”
“It’s okay. We had fun with them anyway, but people do talk around here.”
“You’re growing up, Scott.”
“Of course, Mom.”
“See you in the morning. Good night.”
“Good night, Ma.”
“Good night, Mrs. Watt.”
“You can call me Mom, Tim. Just don’t call me Ma.”
The next morning I was up before Scott. He was still beat and slept in.
“Oh, hi Tim. Feeling better today?”
“I feel great. We were just beat last night from the races.”
“Maybe the beer, too.”
“Oh,” I paused. “Yeah, probably.”
“I just worry you boys are going to drink and drive.”
“We just rode our bikes.”
“Are those local boys old enough to buy beer?”
“No, but they sold it to us anyway at the raceway. Our friends are fifteen too.”
“They sold it to you, at your age?”
‘Nobody seems to care. Most everybody knows everybody hereabouts.”
“Well, I’m glad you didn’t try to hide it or lie, Tim.”
“I don’t think I could, ma’am.”
“I appreciate that. Being part of this family means responsibilities, too.”
“I’m just grateful you accept me so much.”
“We think you’re a great kid, Tim. You did so much for Stu at first. And I can see good changes in Scott now: he’s so much more confident. Both of them are. How’d you get so much confidence yourself?”
“I guess it’s part of growing up in the military. I’ve always been on my own. We moved a lot. It makes it easier to meet people.”
“Well, we’re a little more old-fashioned in this family.”
“I like it that way, Mom.”
She came over and hugged me, which felt good. I even forgot we’d been busted for the beer. She sat next to me.
“When we go back to Miami, will Scott keep staying with you?”
“It’s up to him, and you. I’ve never had such a best friend. Maybe I could stay at your house more.”
“I think he likes the freedom with you.”
“Yeah, but we don’t get into trouble. I like living in Miami. It’s the first place I really felt was home. I wish my mom had liked it.
“It’s hard to go through a divorce.”
“It’s like she lost it when my dad left. Without him, she had no life.”
“When is she moving?
“She’s probably already gone.”
“You mean she moved while you’re here?”
Mrs. Watt looked at me and gave me another, longer hug. A vague sadness crept up my throat. I almost cried, without really understanding what my feelings were. Stu walked into the kitchen.
“What’s wrong, Mom?”
“Tim’s just missing his mom.”
“Well, you’re his mom now,” he matter-of-factually stated.
He came over and hugged me too.
“Thanks, guys,” and I shrugged them off and brushed away my almost tears.
Stu watched me carefully, afraid to admit I could cry.
“It’s okay, Stu. You know what’s going on with my folks. I’m sure you’d feel this way. I’m really okay.”
“My folks’ll never get divorced. Will you, Mom?”
“Never, honey.” She hugged Stu, which is what he wanted, and then he was crying, too. I felt really lucky to have such good friends.
Once Scott was up and had eaten a humongous breakfast, we went off with Stu to explore the woods. We spent the whole day playing King of the Mountain and swimming in the lake. Before dinner, we rode into town to buy sodas. No one was around, so we went to the garage, where Wayne was back to work, pumping gas. He indicated we should hide at the side of the garage, finally coming over once he had a break from customers.
“Willie’s a bitch in heat.”
“Well, at least, y’all is back to work.”
“And workin’ twice as hard as I’m bein’ paid.”
“Life’s a bitch.”
“And, then ya die.”
“Has Willie said anythin’ ‘bout the race?”
“Jist complained a heap ‘bout takin’ the Chevy out. Says I gotta pay fir the nitro.”
“Dew wot? That’s what y’all say when y’all don’t work fer the bitch.”
“Ya think Floyd’s goin’ on a run this week?”
“Ya gotta ax him.”
“Where’s he at. He ain’t down by the store.”
“I’ll ax him tonight. Y’all come by the store tomorrow. Ya sure y’all wanna go? I seen the faces y’all made when ya drank that shit.”
“I don’t care ‘bout the moonshine. I jist wanna say I been on a run.”
“Yer crazy, too.”
“Ya gotta be when yer fifteen.”
The warning bell rang, meaning another customer had pulled into the station.
“Gotta go. See y’all tomorrow.”
“Hot drivin’ yesterday, Wayne.”
“Thanks,” he grinned and spat out tobacco juice.
Stu watched the spit and looked like he’d puke.
“It’s just chew, Stu.”
“Then why’s it so brown.”
“That’s what tobacco does.”
“Tobacco. I thought he had the plague.”
“Shut yer mouth. Y’all never be no redneck.”
We rode to the cabin, abusing Stu all the way. He was just happy to be with us again. The next few days passed with little word from Floyd. Then on Thursday morning, Wayne said to meet Floyd at the store at noon. After much complaining, Stu rode home by himself, promising not to snitch.
“What if you guys get arrested?”
“We’ll call from jail.”
“What if the moonshiners kidnap you?”
“Stop worrying. If we’re not back by tomorrow night, you can tell Mom.”
We waited by the general store. The days had turned into mid-summer scorchers, with dry dust blowing and only a dog or two wandering around. In keeping with our new friends’ sense of fashion, we were wearing old jeans, white tees and no shoes. We looked so much like the locals that tourists stopped to ask directions. We mostly told them they couldn’t get there from here. Finally Floyd walked up and spit.
“Why y’all so hot to go on a run?”
“Just for the thrill,” I shot back.
“Well, remember, this here’s a business proposition. If’n we add weight to the car, it might slow us down to the point the cops’ll be able to catch us.”
“Do wot? We ain’t gonna slow y’all down. Not that much no ways.”
“Well, let’s go to the garage.”
Willie took one look at us and complained, “Whatcha need them boys fer?”
“They’s to do the loadin’ and unloadin’.”
“Y’alls lazy sacks o’ shit.”
“Com’n Willie, give us the keys and stop yer belly achin’.”
He walked us around the back where a beat-up Charger sat. Willie gave Wayne a map and directions. We piled in the back, with Floyd riding shotgun. Wayne gunned the Charger out of town, over back roads to a deserted field in the woods. We walked about two miles and came to a camp that reminded me of the burned-out Viet Vet’s hooch in New England. A grizzled old man in overalls came out of the lean’to, staring at us.
“Ya know I don’t likes y’all bringin’ strangers here.”
“Cool it, Pops, they’s our friends.”
We loaded up wooden cases filled with moonshine bottles, each of us carrying three. We had to stop to rest a couple of times before reaching the car. The cases filled the trunk and half the back seat. Scott and I were sitting on top of cases covered by blankets.
“Shit,” said Wayne. Y’all’s too tall. It don’t look natural, with ‘em sittin’ that way. Can’t y’all scoot down?”
We tried, but it was obvious we were sitting on something. Scott volunteered to stay back, if we’d drop him in town.
“We gotta see Willie anyways, so that’s cool,” Floyd agreed.
We bounced along the country road back to the garage, Wayne claiming he had to get the feel of the loaded car. Willie came out and got himself a case of moonshine. Scott tried to tell me I should also stay back, but I was too excited to miss out. We took off with all three of us up front.
“You ride pussy, boy.” Floyd ordered, so I got in the middle.
He pulled out a bottle and each of us took a swig. It was vile, but I got an instant buzz. We shared several swigs, then I turned on a country music radio station. I started tapping the dash to the music’s beat. When they played ‘One Toke Over the Line,’ we all sang the words.
Then Floyd told Wayne to pull over on a deserted stretch of road. We all got out, with Floyd motioning Wayne to keep quiet. I watched for a second.
“What’s up,” I asked.
“Com’n into the woods with us,” he ordered.
We walked a ways without talking. Finally he turned around.
“Lee Ann says y’all had real good times together.”
“Sure did. I told y’all that.”
“No, she says y’all had more than jist fun; y’all did it together.”
“Well, y’all know how girls talk.”
“We think y’all is sissy boys.”
“What part o’ sissy do y’all see here,” as I looked sharply at them.
“Lee Ann says y’all both wear girls’ underwear.”
“Those are swim suits,” I tried to explain, knowing I wasn’t making my case.
“Well, y’all ain’t swimmin’ now, so ‘spose y’all show us that y’all ain’t wearing panties.”
“Y’all want me ta take my pants down?”
“Just to prove y’all ain’t no sissy boy.”
“I ain’t no sissy.”
“Well, whadda y’all call it then?”
“What if’n I’m a fag?”
“Well, y’all know what happens to fags in the South?”
“They git fucked up the butt.”
It was like a signal with Wayne grabbing me from behind and Floyd tackling me from the front. We wrestled around, and although I was bigger than either of them, they soon had me pinned on my back. Wayne sat on my chest, while Floyd pulled down my jeans.
“Shi-it,” he whooped. “Jist like she said, orange panties.”
He pulled my jeans and suit all the way off.
“I got me a souvenir,” he crowed, waving my Speedo over his head.
Wayne twisted around to look and I was able to throw him off me and jump to my feet. The chased me to a tree, where I stood my ground.
“Look at that dick,” Wayne pointed. “He’s hard as a rock. Whoa, is he hung.”
“Look at your dicks,” I pointed at their jeans. They both had hard-ons.
“You know I ain’t no sissy, but I know how to have a good time. We don’t have to beat each other up to do it,” I suggested.
I moved toward them, but they weren’t about to admit how much they wanted to do it. Floyd charged me again. Soon all three of us were wrestling on the ground. I pinned Wayne on his stomach, reached around to undo his jeans’ buttons, and pulled them and his underwear down to his knees. Floyd was trying to pull me off him. When I mounted Wayne in one thrust, I felt him give in underneath me, as I pumped him in and out. Floyd was flailing on my back, until I reached around undid his jeans. I felt his dick flop out on my pumping butt. I spit in my hand and covered his dick with saliva. He quickly mounted me, while I continued to fuck Wayne. All three of us were one humping and pumping fucking machine. I reached around and grabbed Wayne’s straining hard-on, stroking it in the same rhythm Floyd used to fuck me. As I stroked his dick, Wayne started to moan louder and louder, and I could feel his dick strain with the load he was about to pop. I stroked him faster and faster, with Floyd’s fucking motion rocking me in and out of his butt. Wayne convulsed. I could feel the sperm shoot out his dick. His butt squeezed and squeezed, as he came, sending my dick past its point of no return. Once Wayne finished, he totally collapsed with both of us on top of him. Almost cumming, I pumped him furiously, with Floyd just riding me. I tensed inside Wayne, while Floyd started his final pumps in my ass. As I came, my butt squeezed Floyd’s dick, driving him to climax too. We pumped until we were dry, Wayne on the bottom, Floyd on top, and I was the center of this fuck sandwich. As we finally fell apart, Floyd became as alert as a guard dog, telling us to shut up and be quiet. In the distance, I heard a two-way radio.
“Shit. The cops found the car.”
We got our clothes on in a hurry. Floyd wasn’t about to give up my Speedo, so I didn’t complain. I guess sex trumps fear of cops. We sneaked back to the car, keeping behind bushes and trees. Once near, we saw a police cruiser parked behind the car, with the officer inspecting the Charger. He obviously saw the moonshine. Floyd was furiously trying to figure what to do.
“We gotta git him away from the car, so we can make a break fer it. Where’s the keys, Wayne?”
He held them up. Floyd looked at me, putting his hand on my shoulder.
“Can y’all lie good?” he whispered.
“If’n I have to.”
“Good. Now listen here. Circle around so as y’all come up to the car from the opposite di-rection. Cry out, and then fall down. The cop’ll run over ta y’all, and we’ll jump in the Charger and make our getaway. The cop’ll just take care of y’all. Tell ‘im y’all was hitch hiking and these nasty old men tried to rape y’all in the woods. He’ll probably take ya home.”
“Sounds like the truth to me.”
He looked sharply at me, then we both smiled.
“Yeah, almost. Jist give ‘im fake descriptions.”
“Okay, well here goes.”
I backtracked through the woods, coming out on the opposite side of the car. Before I could see the cop, I started running through the brush. When he came into view, I yelled and waved until he looked up. Then I fell down.
Lying there as he picked me up, I mumbled, “They’re after me. Help me,” over and over.
“Where are they, boy?” the cop asked.
“They’re chasing me.”
Suddenly, the Charger’s engine roared to life, and with tires squealing, Wayne and Floyd took off. The cop ran back toward his cruiser, pulled out his revolver and fired off six shots. I heard a window blow out, but Wayne kept going. The cop got on his radio and called for back-up. In a couple of minutes, he came back to where I was lying (literally and figuratively). He had a soda which I gulped down, my hands really shaking.
“What happened, son?”
“I hitched a ride with these two men, but instead of taking me to town, they drove me way out here in the country. They dragged me into the woods and were trying to get my clothes off. I hit one of them, then they started beating on me, but I broke away. They chased me through the brush. I heard your radio, so I ran in this direction, until I saw you. I was never so glad to see a policeman before.”
He looked me over, noticing the dirt and rips to my jeans and tee-shirt from the fighting. The seat of my jeans was wet from Floyd’s cum that had slithered out my butt while I was running. The cum smell verified my story.
“Did they rape you, boy?”
“They were trying, sir, but I got away.” I tried to show defiance and that I was covering up my defilement.
“Y’all is very lucky,” and he put his arm around me to lift me up. I sobbed momentarily, then straightened up. Walking to the car, he asked where I was from. I told him I was visiting Denver with the Watts. He got on the radio and set up for the Denver sheriff to pick me up.
“You got in with some bad characters, boy. Not only did they try to rape you, but they was runnin’ moonshine. If we catch ‘em, I hope y’all be willin’ to identify ‘em.”
Then he asked for descriptions, which I made up. Several more cop cars arrived. I heard that the boys hadn’t been caught, even though roadblocks were set up. They asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, but I said I was okay. I was given a pair of jeans, way too large, so mine could be used as evidence. I had to hold them up. When the Denver sheriff arrived, I was mortified to see Cheryl Ann sitting beside him. She ran to me, all shaken up.
“I’m okay. I got away from ‘em.”
“I was so scared for y’all when yer name came ‘cross the radio. I jist had ta come myself.”
The Sheriff came over.
“You okay, son. Cheryl Ann says y’all is friends with her sister.”
“Yes, sir. I had a close call. Thanks fer comin’ out.”
I didn’t say another word. Now I had two deceptions to carry out.
“Well, we’ll take y’all home, quick as can be.”
It was the longest ride I can remember, all three of us sitting in the front of his Blazer. Cheryl Ann was stroking my hand and leg, solicitously, and I had another hard-on. Luckily the over-sized jeans hid everything. When we pulled up to the lake cabin, all the Watts came running out. Scott was white as a ghost.
“He’s had a pretty bad scare, ma’am,” the sheriff said. “You mustn’t let your boys hitch-hike around here. Y’all can’t trust everyone. We may need to talk to Tim again, if we catch the two who roughed him up.”
The sheriff got our information in case he needed to contact us in Miami, then left. Cheryl Ann gave me a friendly hug, while Scott kept his hand over Stu’s mouth.
Once they had gone and Mrs. Watt had given me a long hug, Mr. Watt gave us a lecture about not hitch-hiking. I assured them I was okay. Then Scott and I went down to the dock. We tried to shoo Stu away, but since he knew Cheryl Ann was one of our girlfriends, he blackmailed us into including him. He swore complete secrecy. Scott was being protective and maternal, which I fully played up, until we were sitting on the dock.
“It’s all a scam, Scott.”
“Yeah. We were about to get busted. I pretended that a couple of old men had beat me up. Wayne and Floyd made their getaway, while the cop was helping me.”
“All that stuff with the cops was a lie?”
“Pretty much. Don’t look so shocked. It was part of the run.”
I told them the details without the rape part.
“Man, I feel so bad not going with you,” Scott rationalized.
“It was kinda cool, but I hate lying.”
I felt badly about leaving Scott out of the whole truth, but I knew it would be worse if he knew. He may even have been jealous. I hoped Wayne and Floyd had gotten totally away. The cops must have the car’s license number. I knew we’d find out the next day.